By Manju Gupta
High Growth Trajectory and Structural Changes in Gujarat Agriculture, Ravindra H. Dholakia & Samara K. Dutta, Macmillan Publishers India Ltd, Pp174, Rs 175.00
This book documents the interesting story of growth and structural changes in agriculture and allied activities in Gujarat. It shows that agriculture has started growing positively and consistently in the last two decades. In the preceding three decades, growth in agricultures in Gujarat was indifferent, highly fluctuating and now significantly different from zero. Statically the agriculture and animal husbandry sector in Gujarat experienced a significant acceleration to a very high growth path during the last decade. analysing the factors responsible for the growth performance of the state in recent times. The book says that terms of trade for the agricultural sector in relation to the non-agricultural sector in Gujarat played a major role in incentivising growth in agriculture and hence in the whole State economy.
The agricultural growth story of Gujarat in recent times has been the result of a well thought out strategy, meticulously planned and coordinated scheme of action, sheer hard work and sincere implementation of programmes, political will to take bold decisions and commitment to economic policy reforms by the state government.
The state of infrastructure has improved substantially over the previous decade. The number of ports and their turnover has increased manifold. Road network, including rural roads, highways and road networks, including rural roads, highways and roads have become extensive. Water and power, perhaps for the first time in the history of independent India, are systematically available for the masses at affordable prices. The penetration of both rural and urban telephony in Gujarat is comparable to the top states of India and has shown huge increases over time.
Circumstantial evidence based on the logic of precedence supports that agricultural growth in Gujarat could be sustained at a high level, perhaps because of simultaneous rapid progress made in the relevant and critical infrastructure in the state.
Though there are clear linkages between the growth of agricultural performance of Gujarat and the growth of infrastructure, it is difficult to establish statistically any strong causality. The author thinks that possibly that physical infrastructural progress on various fronts preceded the agricultural income and export growth. It appears on margin that physical infrastructural progress on various fronts preceded the agricultural income and export growth. It is abundantly clear from what the book says that agricultural export and infrastructure linked to it are an integral part of the explanation for the high agricultural growth trajectory in Gujarat
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